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» World Cup, 2018
mikeh92467
 Posted: Jun 27 2018, 12:55 PM
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Germany bites the dust! https://files.jcink.net/uploads/starscapebbs/Smilies/bergman.gif
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mikeh92467
 Posted: Jul 7 2018, 01:48 PM
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England advances...they don't have the best players, but they are a terrific team!
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mikeh92467
 Posted: Jul 8 2018, 03:47 PM
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England v Croatia
France v Belgium

Who ya got?
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 8 2018, 11:26 PM
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What the heck I'll take a shot though I don't follow soccer (football) except for the World Cup.

Belgium survives France. Why? Cause they came back from down 2-0 in the second half to beat Japan in an elimination match. Furious comeback, some good athletes on Belgium's side. A little good fortune (luck) here and there helps too. Then they eliminated Brazil 2-1 and that ain't easy either. France has been a tournament favorite and they look good but I just like what I've seen from Belgium.

England defeats Croatia. England looked good against Sweden. Good coaching (Southgate), the team playing together and destiny appears to be with them so far. Wait, Croatia is a scrappy team and hasn't been beaten yet. They made Messi and company look bad in the first round, beating Argentina 3-0. But Croatia has just survived two shootouts in a row, both elimination contests. Regulation tie with Denmark 1-1 and then with Russia 2-2. I'm just saying their luck might run out this time around.

If this happens (and don't bet on it, who knows) then I'm gonna have to stick with Belgium defeating England in the finals.

We shall see.

This post has been edited by habanaray: Jul 8 2018, 11:28 PM
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 10 2018, 10:41 AM
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France versus Belgium today at 2 EDT. France is favored and the favorite to win it all by around 2-1 odds. England is next about 5-2, then Belgium at around 11-4. Croatia to win it all presently around 5-1. No, I don't bet...

I expect these games to be either decided by one goal or a shootout. I'm not fond of penalty kicks during a game. Often (in my perception) a player might get fouled when the shot he might have got is not really very high percentage. The penalty kick is a fairly high percentage shot though. And players know how to work these fouls too. A penalty kick from 11 meters out can decide a contest.

Will miss today's game but might be catching a replay later on. I'll stick with Belgium just for the heck of it.
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 10 2018, 07:20 PM
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Just saw a recap, no upset for Belgium though it looked like they had their chances. Croatia-England tomorrow, will probably catch some of that match.
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Larry
 Posted: Jul 11 2018, 06:37 PM
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Not a world cup item but FC Cincinnati was made a MLS team this past month after being only 2 seasons old. Apparently people here love soccer too. It's ok to watch if the only other thing on is golf. And it's local. I was waiting for Cincinnati city council to fuck up the deal but they didnt.
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 12 2018, 10:34 AM
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You can't kill Croatia. The thought was they'd be "knackered" from the two previous extra time shootouts. What an amazing match it turned out to be.

England scored on a free kick just 5 minutes into the game. Really beautiful shot by Kieran Trippier to make it over the Croatian defenders in front and sail in on the upper right just out of range of the Croatian keeper. Sometimes 1-0 holds up in soccer and England looked like they were playing to protect that lead.

But Croatia was playing with more energy and was the faster team, controlling the ball more. Still it was well into the second half when they broke through with a long cross, where Ivan Perisic was able to get a foot in front of the defender and send the ball past English keeper Jordan Pickford.

Even I knew at that point this game was over. England team looking deflated. Every shot of Pickford showing him either screaming in panic or grimacing. England's coach Gareth Southgate wearing a stoic look but it was more of the stiff upper lip while the Titanic was going down. Any camera pans of the crowds in Hyde Park or Flatiron showed doom and gloom. Yet the score was 1-1. Moments later Croatia bounced one off the post with nobody near. Too close.

When the game went into extra time, I felt England's best chance was to get to the shootout. That didn't happen as Croatia broke through halfway through the 30 minute period. A header sent the ball high in the air until it bounced in front of the England net where Mandsukic sent it across Pickford for the winner. Still 15 minutes to be played but it was game over. Croatia, a country of 4 million was still unbeaten and in the finals of the biggest sporting event in the world.

This post has been edited by habanaray: Jul 12 2018, 10:40 AM
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 01:13 AM
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Croatia versus France 11:00 EDT. France is the big favorite here... but there are plenty of World Cup football "experts" who are hedging just a little. Croatia keeps on surprising.

Yeah Croatia should be "knackered" from three extra time games in a row, and two of them shootouts. And one day less rest than France. Plus beating England in the semifinals proved little, according to some. England really not all that great, benefitting from an easy draw and underlined by Belgium's decisive 2-0 win over the three lions for third place.

If France scores early it could be very difficult for the Croatians to stage any sort of an uprising. But it could be a very interesting match indeed if our slavic friends get on the board first.

In any case I love the emotion, the massive gatherings of passionate fans in the public squares, the collective agony of life and death with each cross, header and go-o-o-o-o-o-o-a-a-al!!!!

It's the kind of nationalism where people aren't persecuting, fighting, or killing, just rooting for their team, hoping their lads can swell the nation's pride by bringing home the coveted Cup.
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 11:27 AM
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France up 1-0 on a free kick. Underlines the whole problem with the 'sport' I'm afraid. France player sends ball forward in the Croatian end, and then takes an artful dive to get the foul and a free kick. Totally undeserved-- but football, or soccer as we call it, is just full of that deception, it's part of the game. Bogus. Handing the match to France. And Croatia was all over, taking it to France like they have done to other teams.

Got some outdoor work to do, now I can get at it at least.
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 11:31 AM
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Whoa!! Croatia breaks through!! The way they move that ball around is unbelievable, this was a beauty... playing keepaway from France until the shot opened... so far Croatia has been the better team except for the bogus ridiculous foul...
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 11:43 AM
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France with a penalty kick handed this game on a silver platter. A handball from Croatia but it was inadvertent and did not stop a goal. Penalty kicks are high percentage. So now France has converted on a free kick and a penalty kick. 2-1.

This is probably why the US will never ever quite embrace the sport. Too often won on penalty and free kicks on not on moving play. Art of deception an integral part of the game. These kicks awarded arbitrarily. Croatia looking really good but horrible luck so far.
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 12:22 PM
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Goooaaal France and they earned this one. 3-1, game over IMO. France doesn't need to dominate in possession so much because they have some young fast forwards who can strike like lightning. Ceiling caving in now on Croatia. France's defense is not going to surrender two goals with 30 minutes left.

Great tournament overall, and Croatia can hold their heads very high indeed!!
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 12:26 PM
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4-1, France showing their skills a 19 year old named Mbappe just tearing through and around the Croatian defense.

The weedeater awaits...
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habanaray
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 12:30 PM
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Yikes Croatia gets a bit of a gift... France keeper tries to clear it past the Croatian forward and misses... boomerang back into the net... 4-2 now!! Gotta give it to Croatia, they ain't quittin'!!

No I don't think this will end up 19-6, this is soccer after all...
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